As of Oct. 2014, 15 states ban the sale of Everclear including Maryland, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. Alcohol vendors can sell Everclear in the other 35 states. Some states, such as Maryland, disallow the sales of grain alcohol, but owning such drinks is not a crime.
States cite sexual assaults as the reason to ban the sales of grain alcohol. One shot of Everclear is 2.5 times stronger than a shot of vodka and has no taste. Binge drinking is a concern on college campuses. Bartenders use the substance to add a kick to fruity drinks.
Alcohol sales brought $15.8 million in tax revenue to Maryland in 2013, and grain alcohol was a very small portion of that total. Violin makers and cake decorators complained about Maryland's ban, explaining that grain alcohol helps their businesses. Everclear dissolves colorings used to varnish violins, and the substance dissolves edible powders that go into cake fondant.
Grain alcohol such as Everclear is 190 proof, or 95 percent alcohol by volume. States such as Wisconsin have attempted to ban the sale of grain alcohol several times without success, as of 2014.